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Cathedral Windows Quilt

Jan Mayrhofer By Jan Mayrhofer on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 14 | Hobbies & Crafts Expertise:
Image for Cathedral Windows Quilt

Today while I was starting my Spring Cleaning, I ran across a familiar looking bag on the top shelf of my closet. I couldn't quite remember what was in it, so brought it down and felt like it was a reunion with one of my best friends! It has been a long time since I thought about this work-in-progress. It was my Cathedral Windows Quilt!

About twenty years ago, my sister and I began our separate projects. We chose the Cathedral Windows design because it was economical to make and easy to take with you wherever you went to work on it.

Technically, this is not a quilt since it has no backing, no batting, and no quilting. It is a hand pieced work, though, and so is still considered a quilt in the quilting world.

My quilt is made of the traditional fabrics for the Cathedral Windows quilt design, which is muslin for the background and scraps of calico print for the "windows". The quilt is made up of muslin squares that are folded, sewn into smaller squares which resemble an origami-type shape, and then sewn together in strips. Once two strips have been created, the smaller squares of calico fabric are set just so and the folds of the muslin are then sewn in scallops on all four sides of the calico square. This creates the "windows".

It is an amazing amount of work, which I guess is why I've never finished my quilt. My sister ended up making sofa pillows out of hers, but I still have hope that I'll finish mine someday.

This is more than a quilt to me. It is a memory catcher. My little squares of fabric were cut from all kinds of skirts, shirts, shorts, and things that my children wore and had grown out of. I even have two fabrics that were from skirts that my grandma wore as a girl! I have those pictured for you... the calico with the black background and the one above it. Some of the fabrics from my kids' clothes really bring back memories. There is a brown check that isn't the prettiest fabric for a quilt, but it is from my son's favorite shorts when he was about six years old.

Hand sewing is very relaxing and I really love it. Now that I've rediscovered this treasure, I can add it to my current list of unfinished projects: my jewel Christmas tree, Christmas stockings for my husband and me, and now, my Cathedral Windows Quilt. I think I need to retire so I have time!

For specific instructions for the Cathedral Windows design, visit here.